University of Minnesota senior libero Kylie Murr and senior setter Melani Shaffmaster joined redshirt junior outside Taylor Landfair on the 2023 Preseason All-Big Ten Team. The Gophers were voted to finish third by the conference’s coaches, behind only Wisconsin and Nebraska. The ‘U’ has finished third or better in each of the last eight seasons, including its 2016 and 2018 Big Ten Championship seasons.

In 2022, Minnesota’s Taylor Landfair was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, the AVCA North Region Player of the Year and an AVCA First Team All-American. She was named Big Ten Player of the Week four times and AVCA Player of the Week once. Landfair had a phenomenal comeback season after she appeared in just nine games in 2021, missing the other 23 games due to an ab injury. The Plainfield, Ill., native led the conference and ranked in the top-20 nationally in both points (4.91) and kills (4.35) per set. She posted 28 10+ kill matches, including 20 15+ kill matches and five 20+ kill matches. She posted a career-high 28 kills in a four-set win over Oregon on Sept. 9. She added three 10+ dig matches and had 11 games with three-or-more blocks. The rising junior also hit .257 for the year on her way to becoming the first sophomore since 2014 to win B1G Player of the Year.

Fifth year libero Kylie Murr earned her first Preseason All-Big Ten honor after winning the 2022 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award at Ohio State. Last season, she was named First Team All-Big Ten, AVCA All-America honorable mention, AVCA All-Northeast Region and won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award. Murr played in 31 matches, leading the team with 4.69 digs per set, including 10 20+ dig and two 30+ dig games. The Yorktown, Ind., native will have one year of eligibility remaining in 2023 for Minnesota.

Senior setter Melani Shaffmaster took her game to another level in 2022. She posted 10.42 assists per set, a figure that ranked second in the Big Ten and 39th nationally. The 2020-21 Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection earned All-Big Ten First Team honors because of her sensational all-around play. She finished first in the Big Ten in double-doubles with 14 matches with 10+ assists and 10+ digs. The New Castle, Ind., native also posted 3+ blocks and 3+ kills 20 times each. She registered a team-best 30 service aces while ranking second on Minnesota with 2.66 digs per set. Her 0.83 blocks per set ranked fifth on the team and first among non-middle blockers.

The Gophers open the season on Friday, Aug. 25 against TCU in the Big 12/Big Ten Challenge at Maturi Pavilion. The ‘U’ finished 22-9 (15-5 Big Ten) last season and placed 10th in the final AVCA poll.

1. Wisconsin
2. Nebraska
3. Minnesota
4. Penn State
5. Purdue
6. Ohio State
7. Illinois
8. Indiana
9. Maryland
T10. Michigan
T10. Northwestern
12. Michigan State
13. Iowa
14. Rutgers

Raina Terry, Sr., OH, Illinois
Camryn Haworth, Jr., S, Indiana
Taylor Landfair, Jr., OH, Minnesota
Kylie Murr, Sr., L, Minnesota
Melani Shaffmaster, Sr., S, Minnesota
Emily Londot, Sr., OPP, Ohio State
Rylee Rader, Sr., MB, Ohio State
Jess Mruzik, Sr., OH, Penn State
MAC PODRAZA, Gr., S, Penn State
EVA HUDSON, So., OH, Purdue
Carter Booth, So., MB, Wisconsin
Sarah Franklin, Jr., OH, Wisconsin
Devyn Robinson, Sr., OPP, Wisconsin
Temi Thomas-Ailara, Sr., OH, Wisconsin

Unanimous selection listed in ALL CAPS

(info courtesy of Gopher Sports)

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